response_to_columbine.doc 2/9/2013 Harry Baya

Part 1 is a message I received from a friend and a comment about the validity of the original message. This relates to my perspective on God, religion, government and the future of the human race. Just little things I like to think about from time to time.

part 2 contains my response to this message.

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On 2/8/2013 9:22 PM, Judy Shaw wrote:

________________________________________

Please Please read

This is one of the best speeches I’ve ever read!

Subject: Fwd: COLUMBINE STUDENT’S FATHER 12 YEARS LATER !! (UNCLASSIFIED)

>>
>> COLUMBINE STUDENT’S FATHER 12 YEARS LATER !!
>> Guess our national leaders didn’t expect this. On Thursday, Darrell
> Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School
shootings in Littleton , Colorado , was invited to address the House Judiciary
Committee’s subcommittee. What he said to our national leaders during this
special session of Congress was painfully truthful.
>>
>> They were not prepared for what he was to say, nor was it received
> well. It needs to be heard by every parent, every teacher, every
politician, every sociologist, every psychologist, and every so-called
expert! These courageous words spoken by Darrell Scott are powerful,
penetrating, and deeply personal. There is no doubt that God sent this man
as a voice crying in the wilderness.. The following is a portion of the
transcript:
>>
>> “Since the dawn of creation there has been both good & evil in the
> hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds
of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the
deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must
not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers.
>>
>> “The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother
> Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used.. Neither was
it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the
reason for the murder could only be found in Cain’s heart.
>>
>> “In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how
> quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a
member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here
to represent or defend the NRA – because I don’t believe that they are
responsible for my daughter’s death. Therefore I do not believe that they
need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel’s
murder I would be their strongest opponent
>>
>> I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy —
> it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the
real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame
lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. I wrote a poem
just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best.
>>
>> Your laws ignore our deepest needs,
>> Your words are empty air.
>> You’ve stripped away our heritage,
>> You’ve outlawed simple prayer.
>> Now gunshots fill our classrooms,
>> And precious children die.
>> You seek for answers everywhere,
>> And ask the question “Why?”
>> You regulate restrictive laws,
>> Through legislative creed.
>> And yet you fail to understand,
>> That God is what we need!
>>
>>
>> “Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, mind,
> and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we
create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak
havoc. Spiritual presences were present within our educational systems for
most of our nation’s history. Many of our major colleges began as
theological seminaries. This is a historical fact. What has happened to us
as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the
doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine’s
tragedy occurs — politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the
NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to
erode away our personal and private liberties. We do not need more
restrictive laws. Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal
detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning
this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts.
>>
>> “As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw
> his two friends murdered before his very eyes, he did not hesitate to pray
in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge
every young person in America , and around the world, to realize that on
April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School prayer was brought back to our
schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain.
Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation
that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him. To those of you
who would point your finger at the NRA — I give to you a sincere
challenge.. Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone!
>> My daughter’s death will not be in vain! The young people of this
> country will not allow that to happen!”
>> – Darrell Scott
>>
>> Do what the media did not – – let the nation hear this man’s speech.
> Please send this out to everyone you can.
>> God Bless

Judy,

I thought it might be useful to check the validity of the email message contents related to Darrell Scott’s statement. The “Snopes” URL is below It says that the statement is indeed and accurate account of what he said, which I was pleased to here, since I spent some time responding to it.

The main, and rather unimportant, error in the message you sent was that the speech was actually given a month after the Columbine incident, not 12 years later.

The speech was made to the House Judiciary Committee’s subcomittee on crime ( your messaged did say “House Judiciary Committee’s subcomittee), however this was not to “our national leaders during a special session of Congress” as stated in the message.

The internet message relay process tends to distort and embellish real events and I usually check up on anything like this. In this case the errors were not relevant and essence of the event, Darell Scott’s statement, came through intact.

Here is the URL about the speech:

http://www.snopes.com/politics/guns/scott.asp

Harry

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Judy,

This is my response to the father’s statement. My definition of “God” probably differs from his, but I agree in part with what I read as the essence of his statement. He probably thinks the way to bring God into our hearts is through Christianity. I don’t. Unless Christianity changes radically it will remain as much part of the problem as the government. I used “reply all”, but I see this only goes to you. That’s OK. My main reason for writing this was to express for myself the reaction I had to the father’s statement. I thought of trying to send it to him, but my guess is that he would be more annoyed than enlightened.

I would take the quote from the father’s speech to congress give it to every official and every member of every organized religion, especially Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Look at what we have created, look at all our rules, and punishments, and definitions of sins. These are all man’s creations, not Gods. If there is a benevolent omniscient being in this universe, he/she/it has left to us the right and the responsibility to create (make, bring into being, evolve, express, be ) a good place for humans and other creatures to live out their brief time in this reality. I don’t think we are doing all that well. I hold the churches of this world as responsible as the governments. Though most preach love, they also support war, and hate, and things like “ours is the only true God, we are His chosen people”.

This is all wrong. We are one living system. There are no competing Gods. The bible, the Koran, all the great spiritual writings and “truths” are the work of men and women, not the “word of God”. Some of those perspectives were very important breakthroughs for the time they were written, but they are not eternal truths. The eternal truth is something like love… love for all life, including our own, other humans, other creatures in our universe. It needs to be learned from experience (not ancient texts) and lived and expressed in each human life, and codifying it and demanding that future generations follow the choices of the prior ones is dysfunctional. Progress consists in working toward a world of love, freedom and tolerance, not of unbending structure, complex hierarchies, and revered documents.

No law denies the right of a boy to pray in school. The law denies him the right to require that all the others pray the same prayer. The narrow-minded, us-vs-them, mentality of our nations, our governments, our churches, and each of us, is the problem. We each walk a brief path and survival of the human race depends on whether enough of us can break free of the mental chains our religions and society to make a more loving world.

I don’t think God gives direct message to humans. I think God gives us a reality in which to learn from experience. What we learn is not God’s eternal message. It is more along the lines of “, Ok, you have figured out something that works for now, use it until you can figure out something that works even better”. To think it is God’s eternal message closes the door, or makes the entrance way far too narrow, to the on-going evolution of a better world. “Better” relates to how a human feels about their life, how satisfying, how worth living it is/was. “Better” relates to the extent to which each living human feels good about their lives. It’s kind of a normal distribution curve and we are trying to constantly move the center of the curve toward a greater and greater sense of living a worthwhile life. This goal is also not defined by God and is left to us humans to figure out, again and again, for as long as their is human life.

To seek God’s help is to seek what is best in our hearts, based on our own personal experience. To relinquish that responsibility to any religion, or any other person or group, is, in my view, a mistake. Perhaps that is to broad, but I do feel it applies very well to Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

Religions that encourage their people to die, or kill, rather than accept the view of another religion, are, in my view, a threat to the survival of the human race. Given the ever increasing destructive power of military weapons, the survival of the human race may someday depend on surrender rather than war. Is that too great a price to pay for the survival of the human race? An individual may choose death over defeat, may choose death over accepting something they think is wrong. That is their right and many have made that choice. But should a portion of the human race be allowed to choose death of the entire human race rather than accept defeat, or what they think is wrong? I think not.

Harry Baya
Feb 9. 2013

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